Best Interpretation of the Four Views of the Seventy Weeks from Daniel

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  • Topic: Christian eschatology, Jesus, Judaism
  • Pages : 5 (1572 words )
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  • Published : May 12, 2012
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Introduction. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . 3 The Four Views of Interpretation of the “Seventy Weeks”. . . . . . . . . 4

The Maccabean View
The Preterist View
The Covenantal View
The Dispensational View
Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Bibliography. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . 8


The book of Daniel chapter 9:24-27 deals with the prophecy of the “seventy weeks” given to Daniel by God and interpreted by the angel Gabriel. Daniel had been praying and seeking God about the sins of his people and pleading that God would move on behalf of his Jewish people. When Gabriel shows up he begins to tell Daniel about one the greatest prophecies in all of scripture complete with times. The times given by Gabriel are seventy weeks broken down by seven weeks, sixty-two weeks, and then one week. The prophecy is given to Daniel about the Jewish people so they would have either interpreted the “seven” as literal days (which wouldn’t make sense in this prophecy), or as years. One Author put it this way, “Heb “sevens.” Elsewhere the term is used of a literal week (a period of seven days), Gabriel unfolds the future as if it were a calendar of successive weeks. Most understand the reference here as periods of seventy “sevens” of years, or a total of 490 years.” This paper will seek to establish which four of the major viewpoints among scholars is the most probable and will also seek to point towards the revelation of the Christ and His Kingdom from this text. The Four Views of Interpretation of the “Seventy Weeks”

There are four major viewpoints that scholars hold to. They are known as the Maccabean view, the preterist view, the Covenantal view, and the dispensational view. Each of these views surrounds the debate about the timing of the seventy weeks.

The Maccabean View
The Maccabean view of the seventy weeks begins in 605 B.C. alluding to the prophecy of Jeremiah (Jer. 25:1, 11) about the seventy years of the captivity, which is also around the time that Daniel receives the vision. There are no gaps in the seventy weeks but they continue straight through until Judas Maccabeus cleanses the temple and Antiochus IV dies in 164 B.C. This view doesn’t seem correct for a number of reasons. The text in Daniel 9:24 has six different criteria that will take place they are as follows, “to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place.” None of these things were accomplished in 164 B.C. The other standard that should be applied to see if this is a correct interpretation is using addition to understand the time frames for the seventy weeks. If one does the math they will find that there are 49-65 unaccounted years. Daniel is missing a full seven sevens! One author states, “We can meet this objection only by surmising a chronological miscalculation on the part of the writer.” This is an eisegetical approach to the prophecy and should be rejected.

The Preterist View
The preterist view of the seventy weeks has the seventy weeks beginning at the decree of Cyrus found in Ezra 1 in 538 B.C. In this interpretation the sevens are symbolical periods of time. The author Miller says this about Young’s interpretation,

Young holds that the first period of seven sevens extends from Cyrus’s decree allowing the return of the Jewish exiles in 538 B.C. to the time of Ezra and Nehemiah, approximately 440–400 B.C. The next sixty-two sevens stretch from about 400 B.C. until the first advent of Christ; the last seven continues...
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